More than 170,000 people have signed a petition demanding that Netflix remove a film sexualizing young girls after a raunchy poster for the movie lit the internet on fire Thursday.
The petition, launched on change.org, slams the streaming service for hosting the film “Cuties,” which features scantily clad pre-pubescent girls “twerking” and performing highly sexualized dance moves. The film is scheduled to air on Netflix on Sept. 9.
The petition calls the movie “disgusting,” saying it “sexualizes an ELEVEN year old for the viewing pleasure of pedophiles.”
“This movie/show is disgusting as it sexualizes an ELEVEN year old for the viewing pleasure of pedophiles and also negatively influences our children! There is no need for this kind of content in that age group, especially when sex trafficking and pedophilia are so rampant! There is no excuse, this is dangerous content!” the petition reads.
And it’s not wrong. The IMBd description of the French film, originally titled "Mignonnes" and which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, explains that the lead character “Amy” – who, again, is 11 – bucks her strict Muslim family’s values when she “joins a group of dancers named ‘the cuties' at school, and rapidly grows aware of her burgeoning femininity.”
Here’s how The Wrap summarizes the film:
In ‘Cuties,’ an 11-year-old girl from Senegal Amy tries to escape family dysfunction by joining a free-spirited dance clique named ‘Cuties.’ The group stands in stark contrast to her mother’s traditional values, and she soon becomes aware of her own femininity well beyond her years through dance. She soon inspires the girls to embrace more sensual dance moves as part of their routine even as she begins to face the realities of growing up, and they hope to twerk their way to stardom at a local dance contest.
Netflix has already apologized for their original poster art advertising the film, which showed the little girls posing provocatively in skimpy outfits. The streaming network removed the offensive image, admitting it was "inappropriate," but has not yet said they won't air the actual movie.